Seasons come and go, time passes by, moods change, and so do trends. But when it comes to fashion and lifestyle, the return to the classics is inevitable – for all gentlemen and gentlewomen. Otto’s Athens Vermouth is exactly the classic touch that has been missing for quite a few years. And now it’s back.
It’s slightly bitter with fresh rose petal, citric and vanilla tones. And you can smell the notes, once you open the bottle. And that colour… Crimson, almost light burgundy, it definitely wins you over.
I was introduced to my first glass of Otto’s a few days ago. Away from its natural home (Athens), in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. It was in a space that naturally matched its crisp and sharp identity, its history and unmistakable recipe: Cheval Bar, designed by Ark4lab Of Architecture.
Otto’s, being a true Athenian at heart, yes, but also a wicked adventurer, would naturally never stop searching for the new to conquer – through pleasure. And so it did.
The philhellene King Otto decides to move the capital of Greece into Athens breathing life to his vision to give the 2,000 year town of 8,000 people the glory of the past. Under the shade of the Acropolis, in the cobblestone streets of the old city of Plaka, King Otto puts the foundation of the new Athens.
It was then then that Ioannis Vouher created the first Greek vermouth by appointment to King Otto, honoring an ancient Greek tradition and celebrating a new era.
Crafted using wine from the Attica area infused with Greek herbs, rose petals and citrus fruits for a truly Greek flavor.
Athenians kept Otto’s vermouth in their cellar and enjoyed it fresh, cool and straight as an aperitif.
Athens takes the path of a cosmopolitan European metropolitan city. Omonoia square with it’s big fountain and flamboyant advertising neon signs becomes the trademark of the night life of Athens.
Modern flats make their appearance in Kolonaki and around the National Garden. Quinta, Argentina, Fantasia, are the places where the enfant gaté of Athens spent their nights until the first light of the sun.
Local celebrities mingle with the international jet set flown to Greece with the legendary Olympic Airways with the on board silverware and piano lit concerts.
Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Paul Belmondo, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alain Delon discover the nights and days of Athens before sailing to the magic of Hydra, Myconos, Rhodes, Delos and Santorini.
The drink of time of course Vermouth in a tall glass, with ice and soda. Top distillers such as Andreas Metaxas recommend their own version of vermouth – some with sweet wine, other with intense aromas and other less.
Today Athens has become the favorite destination of the neo-bohemian creative crowd.
Down town boasts boutique hotels, new age bars, underground speakeasies, sophisticated drinking places and life on the streets never seems to stop.
The creativity of new age bartenders, the demand for authentic drinks with a strong past and the revival of prohibition era cocktails bring the traditional Otto’s Athens Vermouth back in the spotlight.
Limitless ways of enjoying it, still high ball glass, soda water and ice are the best mixers for Athens Vermouth.
Perfect Serve: Otto’s & Bubbles
70ml Otto’s Athens Vermouth
100ml Premium Tonic
Add 70ml of Otto’s in a tall glass with ice and top up with tonic water. Garnish with a lemon or orange peel (alternatively serve with soda). Ready!
A few steps away from Otto’s house, on the upper floor of a neoclassical building under the buzz of a one of the top 50 bars of the world (THE CLUMSIES), a passionate team revived the great times of Athens Vermouth and crafted the first bottle of Otto’s Athens Vermouth.
High quality Greek wine infused with rose petals, wormwood, citrus fruit, olive leaves and herbs grown under the sun of Athens such as oregano and angelica, creating a uniquely Greek flavor.
[Thank you, Cheval Bar for the warm hospitality.]
[All images shot with my Olympus Pen EPL-7.]